Two recent cases on sponsoring spouses/partners, which I analyse with [X] denoting the relevant paragraph from the judgment.
SS & Ors vs SSHD
from Court of Appeal last week, on the relationship between immigration rules and Article 8 (right to family life) was disappointing. Judges 
suggest although rules may not fulfil requirements of European Convention on Human Rights, as Theresa May can exercise her discretion outside the rules they are not unlawful (!). The fact that she doesn't seems to hold apparently has no bearing.
Judges overturned the appeals in front of them where they had succeeded at tribunal solely on the basis of the MM case at High Court
case in which Justice Blake determined the rules overall were disproportionate and unlawful, by referring to the more recent CoA judgment in the same case.
I find myself increasingly frustrated that judges just don't get it, coming out with same old trite statements that State has right to interfere where 'fair balance has to be struck between competing interests of the individual and community as a whole'. (105)
How they can't see that these rules damage the community as a whole is beyond me. Our family would have no recourse to public funds; research shows they are net contributors; experience and common sense suggest breaking up families causes irreversible harm with strain on NHS, welfare groups and benefits system.
The court agreed State is obliged to respect family life and act in a manner to allow ties between close relatives to develop normally, however as the principle of respect is not defined, the State has a wide margin to work within. [106-7]
. Desk-head-bang moment.
There was some weight on precariousness of the immigration status at the time family life was established, finding the situation more favourable where a British citizen had lived abroad with their spouse for years but with a change in circumstances, now wished to return home, than where someone got married knowing they would need to meet the immigration rules. However from what I understand of the judgment, even the prior case isn't that strong because the fall-back option for the State is always that the family can live together outside the UK.
Frankly, I think it's quite cheeky for the Queen on our British passports to ask other countries to "allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary"
when they don't do so for their own citizens!